Sunday, December 31, 2017

2nd Semneh Sesostris III stela

Senwosret / Sesostris, Semneh / Semna same things. It's one of two stelae 5.25 feet tall from the Middle Kingdom that were placed on both sides of the Nile at the Second Cataract in Nubia. The stela is now in the Berlin museum. The statement of the king is a rare literary autobiographical statement to his people.

The stela is plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose all over the place. This is what Trump's Twitter account would have sounded like 4,000 years ago.

The drawing is by Karl Lepsius and the translation is by Mark-Jan Nederhof. This was not part of the class's study, rather, it was part of a discussion about one of the lesson that involved the emphatic "As my father lives for me." They use their code for keyboards to discuss it,  anx n =j jt =j, Dd =j m mAat!, the phrase begins with ankh (anx), life, but transliteration does not have the short squat horned snake (f) representing "father" while the hieroglyphic phrase does. It's an odd and unique phrase confronted by early translators, who decided it's similar to saying, "I swear on my mother's grave" or "as I live and die."

Here is the stone stela. It's broken and it's hard to read.

So, the class did not study this stela but their teachers did. They're drawing on previous encounters with the emphatic oath phrase to make their point with each other. I like the stela because all the other phrases are so straightforward, rather simple, and very clear with common phrasing. It's a good piece to study. And having a president who sounds similar in his Twitter account, simple and straightforward with common phrasings, makes reading it like eating candy.

The glyphs read right to left, the English reads left to right.

Notice the backs of the birds create an angularity like this / / / / across the entire text. 

1 comment:

deborah said...

Did someone say BIRTH? Gots to have the fox tails.